Fleet vehicles [Good idea/or not?]

Starting to shop around for a basic stripped down van…ideally a high top med length van and wondering if used fleet vehicles are a good source to start?
Advantages I see are …they are mostly maintained and stored properly/regularly and [hopefully] disposed of with a bit of life left in them.
Any comments experiences on my thinking?
And, where are the sources to shop? Directly with the company, or maybe with the supplier that accepts them as trade ins? Not too keen on using craigslist, but will if there is something available.
or
Would a passenger vehicle be easier to modify? like a shuttle van or tour van?

Greetings!

General advice seems to be to never trust any maintenance records on fleet vehicles, because they phony them up to sell them. Typically on fleet vehicles they do the cheapest, quickest, minimal repairs possible to keep them on the road. Most keep them a relatively short time, but make no mistake that they are at a point where proper repairs will cost more than replacement.

Passenger vanss and shuttles are MUCH easier and cheaper to convert than cargo vans or box trucks, and are also in a much better state of repair and maintenance. The floor, walls, and ceiling are already finished, so by simply removing the extra seats they are ready to move your new interior in. Passenger vehicles must also meet far stricter safety standards than fleet vehicles, so that also adds to peace of mind.

Some people choose to build their new interior in, which I have done myself. Others wish to keep everything modular and just move their new interior in and secure it. Having done both, I will never build another interior in, the modular route is 1000% better in every way imaginable. It’s cheaper, easier, more comfortable, more flexible, and more convenient. If my current van suffered catastrophic failure tomorrow, I would be able to move my entire interior into a new van within hours. The same isn’t possible with built in interiors.

Cheers!


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller


Be careful on fleet vehicles or anything considered to be a “Commercial” vehicle. Depending on your state you may not be able to secure insurance for what you are attempting to do. We had no issues buying a new promaster. It did take us 3 days and about 30 companies to finally find insurance. You can likely get normal private insurance, but as soon as you modify it as a living vehicle it may void your insurance. We eventually got ours insured as a motor home, but it took a considerable amount of work and likely nothing we modify inside would be covered unless we get it revalued sometime. Good luck!

1 Like

Thanks Bret…

What you say makes good sense ’ You can likely get normal private insurance, but as soon as you modify it as a living vehicle it may void your insurance.’

My [flexible] plan/concept is to shop for a shuttle or tour van which there are a lot of here in Hawaii that ferry tourists around the island and they are plentiful.

We would like to remove seats, then replace it with removable components for just camping [not living in full time] and it could serve 2 purposes if glamping components could be easily removable. …a weekender camper and a week day work van, as the wife sells food at local markets etc and I need a vehicle for hauling tools and materials for construction, etc.

Any Ideas on the fabrication of this multi purpose van??

Thanks for your feedback,

Jack

There are quite a lot multi purpose builds and builders around.
I’m currently following like 20 or 30 builders in instagram just for fun and ideas.
I’ll drop in one of my favorites in ideas: https://www.instagram.com/norva.vehiculeaventure/

First, when you remove seats could you re-use the existing seat mounting points to mount cabinets or bed? Especially if you have detachable seats, it could be possible to get extra connectors and use them so one of the options is still like full 8 seater etc. Especially if taxes/insurance changes greatly depending on what configuration you officially have.

In my example link above, they use aluminum track on the walls to mount beds and some cabinets so they can be removed depending on what your current need is.

I’m still in the planning process of my own, I currently have a 5-seater van that I use as my daily work van. I’m going to go for aluminum extrusion frame that will let me have maximum cargo capacity and easily convert to bed/dinette to satisfy local laws.

Aluminum track on the walls and floor was my original plan but I ditched it when I eventually bought my van because it has windows all around and passenger insides, no visible metal surface and I’m not that interested in gutting the interior. yet.

So my idea is pretty much like this:


Two “tool boxes” on the sides, that would contain house battery, cool box etc. Bed part would be three pieces, two of them functions as seat backrest and third a table (I need those to classify this as RV, local law thing).

Obviously whatever I make won’t be as pretty :smile:

Greetings!

I would start by thoroughly investigating the insurance angle, followed by the process to get it licensed as either a regular van, or an RV.

Cheers!


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller


Greetings!

I would make the whole tops of the benches hinged, and put sliding doors on the front sides to allow the easiest possible access to whatever is inside.

Cheers!


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller


Our Sprinter was a fleet vehicle and it was very well maintained. We have all the records on it done by Mercedes. Even down to when the windshield wiper blades were changed. So big thumbs up from us!

Greetings & Welcome!

Hooray for you! Sad part is there seems to be many more horror stories than happiness with fleet vehicles.

Cheers!


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller


I bought a short wheelbase mid roof ford transit cargo van and i’m very happy with it. I had it independently inspected and I felt satisfied with its quality. I mostly shopped on cargurus and carmax and they did have fleet vehicles for sale. Good luck!